Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities
In Your School- Do all stakeholders subscribe to the belief that EVERYONE has something to learn and EVERYONE has something to teach? This blog can help you gain insight on how to facilitate this transformative mindset with your faculty!

Feb 19, 2010

Paideia Princess

I started my teaching career at a Paideia school. Since that time, I have taught at a D.I.S.T.A.R. school, a Montessori school, and an urban school in the midst of major reform (Benwood School). I have taken what I consider to be the best of each philosophy of teaching and integrated them all into my own practice. Without a doubt, the Paideia approach has had the most impact on my teaching and my students' learning.

The Paideia philosophy celebrates the fundamental notion that to be fully educated is a lifelong adventure that only begins with an individual's formal schooling. It is based on the assumption that all human beings are by definition activist learners, capable of a fully humanistic life defined by intellectual growth. Thus, Paideia schools should ultimately be judged by how well they prepare students for a full and active life of the heart and mind.

Paideia's original thinker, philosopher Mortimer Adler, joined with a diverse cadre of educators and intellectuals to form the Paideia Group back in the early eighties. Its members charged themselves with the task of defining a list of "Paideia Principles" as a summary of ideas introduced by Adler in his seminal work on American education, The Paideia Proposal. These principles were intended to help shape future efforts to improve schools and classrooms.

As part of The Paideia Proposal, the Paideia Group outlined a comprehensive course of study that incorporates three complementary instructional techniques or columns. Known as the Three Columns of Instruction, the techniques are:

1. Didactic instruction of factual information;
2. Intellectual coaching of skills; and
3. Seminar discussion of ideas, concepts, and values (Socratic Seminars)

I LOVE utilizing this as a framework for my instruction. I just believe in it so much. I have done it. I have seen the results. I hope to have the opportunity to be at a Paideia school again some day.

To learn more about Socratic Seminar, check out my other blog

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